Luciano Maiani, President of Italian CNR, visits EPN campus
On 8 April 2011, EPN campus welcomed a delegation from Italy headed by Professor Luciano Maiani, President of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), the entity that funds and coordinates a major part of the country’s public research. CNR also represents the Italian interests in the ESRF and ILL Council.
Professor Maiani was accompanied by the Heads of the Italian delegations to the Councils of the ILL and ESRF along with other high-ranking officials. [More on the ESRF website]
How Arctic fish antifreeze proteins work
Neutron scientists at ILL have discovered for the first time how ‘antifreeze’ in arctic fish blood kicks in to keep them alive in subzero conditions. The results could provide benefits for areas as diverse as cryosurgery, food processing and agriculture. [more]
Understanding the magnetic glue of superconductivity at ILL
New evidence suggests fluctuating magnetic stripes are the cause of mysterious hourglass magnetic spectrum of high temperature superconductors.
Colloidal Quasi-Crystals discovered
Micelles, as many other colloids, can self-assemble in aqueous solution to form ordered periodic structures. So far these structures exhibited classical crystallographic symmetries. In recent experiments at D11 with its new detector, and for the first time, colloidal water-based quasi-crystals with 12-fold diffraction symmetry have been observed. Results have just been published in PNAS. [more]
A new bacterial strategy to control immunity
Scientists from the IBS, Pasteur Institute, INRA, INSERM and CNRS laboratories have demonstrated that Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogenic bacterium, is capable of reprogramming genes in order to activate or not the immune system. This work, published online by Science on January 20, 2011 received funding from the European Community (ERANET PathoGenoMics program and ERC). Read more
Ammonites’ last meal: new insight into past marine food chains
Scientists have discovered direct evidence of the diet of one of the most important groups of ammonites, distant relatives of squids, octopuses and cuttlefishes.
The discovery may bring a new insight on why they became extinct 65.5 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous. [more]
Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), together with scientists from Nagoya University and the ESRF, have been able to describe the 3D structure of a complete egg receptor that binds sperm at the beginning of fertilization. The results, published in the journal Cell, will lead to better understanding of infertility and may enable entirely new types of contraceptives.
Scientists from the IBS have recently developed a now approach combining protein crystallography and biomimetic chemistry to observe all the steps in oxygen activation, an essential reaction of life. In order to accomplish this, they have designed and crystallized an artificial metallo-enzyme consisting of a synthetic catalyst and a protein.
In September 2010, EMBL-Grenoble hosted a two-day conference for which Scientists and Instrument Control Engineers came together for further developing multi-axis data collection methods in Macromolecular Crystallography. Next to the representatives of 8 European Synchrotrons, the meeting could also be remotely joint by US scientists from NE-CAT at APS.
New neutron research has revealed that the proteins making up silkworm silk have unexpected properties: effectively the proteins become more concentrated as they are diluted. The study published earlier this month in the RSC journal Soft Matter is a big step forward in understanding the amazing properties of silks and how to synthesise them.
The "ILL 2020 Vision" user meeting was organised in Grenoble on 15-17 September 2010 with the aim of discussing with the neutron user community the development of a programme of upgrades to the ILL instrument suite and infrastructure for the period 2013-2017 and beyond.
Transport proteins carry molecules in the cell, but in some diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, they fail to do so. A team from the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt (Germany) has gained insight in a carnitine transporter, which, when faulty, causes the incurable Crohn’s disease. Their research is published this week in Nature.
Deadline to submit your proposals: 1st September
Summer is, in many countries, a quiet period when scientists can catch up with ongoing papers and work that has been slowly piling up. It is also a great time to start writing your proposals for experiments at the ESRF and ILL. The deadline is on 1 September, for both institutes: keep it in mind!
The complementarity of X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques is again demonstrated by the study of the enzyme D-xylose isomerase (XI) (EC 184.108.40.206), a crucial enzyme in sugar metabolism, with important commercial applications, notably in the production of biofuels and soft-drink sweeteners.